DoD Funded Research Suggests McCain's "Faith Based" Approach Would Increase Terrorism
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Mar 15, 2008 at 03:24:54 PM EST
According to John McCain, America is at war with "radical Islamic extremism", a struggle he says could last fifty, a hundred or even a thousand years but research by world expert on suicide terrorism Robert A. Pape undercuts the senator's premise and suggests McCain's "faith based" approach could increase the incidence of terrorism which, Pape's research shows, is linked most strongly not to religion but nationalism. Below: 1/2 hour interview with University of Chicago researcher Robert A. Pape, author of Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism :

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, in a groundbreaking effort to understand the forces driving suicide terrorism which was partly funded by the US Department of Defense, Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago dropped his prior research, into the effective uses of air power in warfare, and began to amass what became the world's largest database on suicide terrorism. Pape wrote up his conclusions, on what drives such acts, in a 2005 book, "Dying To Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism". Pape says he has briefed "40 out of 535" of the senators and representatives on Capitol Hill, as well as members of the Department of Defense and The NSA on his conclusion: religion is not the primary cause of suicide terrorism, nationalism is.

Here is a link to a one hour, in depth interview with Robert A. Pape, by Harry Kreisler, at the University of California at Berkeley February 16, 2006 . For transcripts of interview relevant to suicide terrorism see here and here

Excerpt:

[Robert A. Pape] "It's terribly important to directly attack the terrorist organizations, because obviously we want to impede their ability to attack us in the short term, but as we do that it's also possible that we can overreact, it's also possible that we can do many things that we're not even paying close attention to, to actually deepen the anger that, at bottom, is what's causing the walk-in volunteers in the first place. If we're not careful about that, then we can end up easily making the problem worse.

I'm afraid that since 9/11 we have made the problem worse. Since 9/11, al Qaeda has carried out over seventeen suicide and other terrorist attacks, killing nearly 700 people. That's more attacks and more victims than all the years before 9/11 combined. Yes, it's true they have not hit the American homeland, but we now know why. We have a key al Qaeda strategy document.

In September 2003, al Qaeda published a forty-two-page document on radical websites for how to deal with the United States after we went into Iraq. It was later found by Norwegian intelligence, by the way, and is still sitting on the Norwegian intelligence website. That document says that al Qaeda should not seek to attack the American homeland in the short term but instead should focus on hitting America's allies, allies who sent combat forces with us to Iraq or Afghanistan."

During an August 1, 2007 speech at Stanford University Senator John McCain declared, "The transcendent challenge of the 21st Century is the challenge of radical Islamic extremism... we're are going to have to a lot better job in countering the spread of this evil that wants to destroy everything that we stand for and believe in. So our challenge in the 21st Century against this radical Islamic extremism, you notice I avoid the phrase "war on terror" but it is a struggle between good and evil..."

In speeches to every sort of audience and in contexts both religious and secular, over and over again, John McCain has hammers away at the point. A new McCain campaign ad takes this to new propagandistic heights by pairing excerpts from McCain speeches with writings by Teddy Roosevelt and speeches by Winston Churchill, whose recorded voice begins the ad, to sped-up footage of clouds whizzing by then grainy films of Churchill : "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender." McCain's voice then follows with, "We're Americans, we're Americans and we'll never surrender - they will." The ad does not specify who "they" are supposed to be, but that's hardly necessary because John McCain has stated it countless times on the 2008 campaign trail : Muslims, lots and lots of 'em.[below: McCain campaign's "Churchill" ad ("The Man in The Arena")]

Robert A. Pape's research has been circulated in the Pentagon since 2003 and "Dying To Win" has been out for over two years now. One would reasonably expect a leading presidential candidate to bother to learn a little about the subject area his presidential bid is predicated on.  
Pape's research directly contradicts the main thrust of John McCain's presidential bid and, by extension, either McCain's competence or his sincerity.

But, the American mainstream seems strangely immune to Pape's message and one of the few media outlets to pick up on Pape's work, back in 2005, was the American Conservative Magazine which interviewed Pape who described his conclusions based on the comprehensive data profile he's gathered, with the help of teams of University of Chicago graduate students:

[Robert Pape] This wealth of information creates a new picture about what is motivating suicide terrorism. Islamic fundamentalism is not as closely associated with suicide terrorism as many people think. The world leader in suicide terrorism is a group that you may not be familiar with: the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

This is a Marxist group, a completely secular group that draws from the Hindu families of the Tamil regions of the country. They invented the famous suicide vest for their suicide assassination of Rajiv Ghandi in May 1991. The Palestinians got the idea of the suicide vest from the Tamil Tigers.

TAC: So if Islamic fundamentalism is not necessarily a key variable behind these groups, what is?

RP: The central fact is that overwhelmingly suicide-terrorist attacks are not driven by religion as much as they are by a clear strategic objective: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to Chechnya to Kashmir to the West Bank, every major suicide-terrorist campaign--over 95 percent of all the incidents--has had as its central objective to compel a democratic state to withdraw.

TAC: That would seem to run contrary to a view that one heard during the American election campaign, put forth by people who favor Bush's policy. That is, we need to fight the terrorists over there, so we don't have to fight them here.

RP: Since suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism, the use of heavy military force to transform Muslim societies over there, if you would, is only likely to increase the number of suicide terrorists coming at us.

below - audio from John McCain's August 1, 2007 speech at Stanford University




Display:
this is a great diary -- i am learning more every day. thanks for your efforts.

by peg1 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 06:40:13 AM EST
Best, Bruce W

by Bruce Wilson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:20:04 PM EST
Parent



WWW Talk To Action


Why Is Bishop Robert Finn Still In Power?
As I reported in September 2014, Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has been under Vatican investigation to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
Thus It Was Prophesied in 2012: Ted Cruz Will Be VP, Or a Supreme Court Justice
This is a transcript, of pastor Larry Huch and Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, from an appearance Rafael Cruz made at......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Crusin with Cruz
Ted Cruz threw his hat into the ring, announcing his bid for President in the worship center at Jerry Falwell's University last night.  Mother......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Ted Cruz: Born From The Heart of the Dominionist Christian Right
[welcome, Thom Hartmann Show fans, here is a short introduction to my past coverage on Ted Cruz and the dominionist Christian right] Did you......
By Bruce Wilson (1 comment)
Coming Soon to Utah: An International Festival of Bigotry
An international network of some of the world's most vitriolic Religious Right activists and self-proclaimed orthodox religious leaders is holding its ninth global conference......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Bumpy Lane: Religious Right Operative Seeks To Build (Another) Church-Based Political Machine
Here's what the country doesn't need right now: another zealot aiming to mobilize right-wing pastors to become a force in electoral politics.Yet that's what......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Team Jeb Bush's Liaison to Religious Right Is Hardcore Culture Warrior
In 2008, Senator John McCain's campaign recognized that he needed to shore up his credentials with the Religious Right, which was skeptical about his......
By Bill Berkowitz (2 comments)
American ISIS: Christian Reconstructionists And `Biblical Law' In America
Every now and then, while scanning the day's news, I come across a headline that's hard to believe.Like this one: "California lawyer proposes ballot......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Will our Prisons Overflow with Christians this Summer?
Many leaders of the Christian Right, from megachurch pastors like Rick Warren to the top prelates in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)
Say You Want A Christian Nation?: Let's Try This One
Last week an article began circulating on social media claiming that 57 percent of Republicans in a recent poll said they believe Christianity should......
By Rob Boston (3 comments)
Are The Fundamentalists Winning?
We missed Evolution Weekend, which was held February 13-15 this year.   This worthwhile effort, which began the same year as Talk to Action,......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Mario Cuomo's Memorable Lesson on Challenging the Political Authority of the Church
It is never too late to remember. Here is a reposting of a column I did following the death of former New York Gov.......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
The Legacy of Francis Bellamy
"We assemble here that we, too, may exalt the free school that embodies the American principles of universal enlightenment and equality; the most characteristic......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
The Inquisitional Urge Gets the Better of Bill Donohue (Again)
Bill Donohue is at it again. The Catholic League president went apoplectic over President Obama’s seemingly innocuous comments at the February 5th National Prayer......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
John Dorhauer Recommended to Lead United Church of Christ
I am very pleased to report that John Dorhauer, who joined us early on at Talk to Action has been recommended by a national......
By Frederick Clarkson (3 comments)

Evangelicals Seduced By Ayn Rand Worship Crypto-Satanism, Suggest Scholars
[update: also see my closely related stories, "Crypto-Cultists" and "Cranks": The Video Paul Ryan Hoped Would Go Away, and The Paul Ryan/Ayn Rand/Satanism Connection Made Simple] "I give people Ayn Rand with trappings" -......
Bruce Wilson (9 comments)
Ted Cruz Anointed By Pastor Who Says Jesus Opposed Minimum Wage, and Constitution Based on the Bible
In the video below, from a July 19-20th, 2013 pastor's rally at a Marriott Hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, Tea Party potentate Ted Cruz is blessed by religious right leader David Barton, who claims......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Galt and God: Ayn Randians and Christian Rightists Expand Ties
Ayn Rand's followers find themselves sharing a lot of common ground with the Christian Right these days. The Tea Party, with its stress on righteous liberty and a robust form of capitalism, has been......
JSanford (3 comments)
Witchhunts in Africa and the U.S.A.
Nigerian human rights activist Leo Igwe has recently written at least two blog posts about how some African Pentecostal churches are sending missionaries to Europe and the U.S.A. in an attempt to "re-evangelize the......
Diane Vera (1 comment)
Charles Taze Russell and John Hagee
No doubt exists that Texas mega-church Pastor John Hagee would be loathe to be associated with the theology of Pastor C.T. Russell (wrongly credited with founding the Jehovah's Witnesses) but their theological orbits, while......
COinMS (0 comments)
A death among the common people ... imagination.
Or maybe my title would better fit as “Laws, Books, where to find, and the people who trust them.”What a society we've become!The wise ones tell us over and over how the more things......
Arthur Ruger (0 comments)
Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (3 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (5 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (5 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (2 comments)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (1 comment)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (1 comment)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.